UK Home Secretary Priti Patel announced on Wednesday a new points-based system to be introduced after UK-EU free movement ends on 31 December 2020.
Speaking at an event in London on Thursday evening, Wright said: “The announcement that Priti Patel made yesterday... I think it's a terrible, terrible mistake. It shows a shocking lack of understanding on her part of how the dynamics of the labour market work in this country. Actually, it's not as bad for our food manufacturing as it will be for our retailing and in particular our hospitality sector."
Patel claimed that labour shortages caused by her tough new immigration plans could be filled by 8.5 million “economically inactive” people in the UK.
Wright said: “For a senior minister to say there are over 8 million economically inactive people when most of those people are either students, retired or carers is just ludicrous. I'm very cross about that."
He said it was now an urgent priority of the UK's current food strategy to "stabilise and provide the security of labour supply which will assist the entire food chain from farm to fork."